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BREAKING: Sheriff fires SRO after viral video of lawful classroom arrest of unruly, disrespectful student


At a live press conference this afternoon Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced that deputy Ben Fields has been fired over an incident that took place on Monday at the high school he’s worked for the past seven years.

Senior deputy Ben Fields, an 11-year veteran of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, has been fired over allegedly violating department policy. Students in the class recorded on their cell phones as he used force to effect an arrest and remove an unruly student from her classroom.

However, before getting into the fallout, let’s look at what led to the incident:

A student who was in the class at the time said shortly before the violent confrontation, the girl in the video had her cell phone out in class, and the teacher came over and asked her to “hand over the device.”

When the girl refused, a school administrator came in and ordered the teen to get out of her seat. She refused. That’s when Fields was called in to remove her.

In the viral video, the officer is seen and heard asking the student to get up.  She refuses.  As he goes to physically remove her, she attempts to punch him in the head, striking him in the chest.  Almost simultaneously, he pulls her from the desk and throws her to the floor, where she is promptly put into cuffs.  

Now, instead of learning an important lesson that there are rules and laws, and that breaking them has consequences (a lesson so many of today’s youth seem to be missing), there will be publicity, sympathy and likely no repercussions for her terrible behavior.  In fact, following the incident, no injuries were reported.  Now, after the media attention, the student is claiming multiple injuries.  

Sadly, in today’s insane legal system, she will likely receive a settlement, as it will be cheaper for soon-to-be civil defendants to settle as opposed to fighting it in court, something we recently highlighted when the NYPD settled for $25k with two women who assaulted officers.

Then there are the charges of racism against the deputy.  Of course no one, other than the Sheriff who fired him, stated that Deputy Field’s girlfriend is African American, which makes it a tough narrative for the media and race baiters to push.

Regardless, many members of the NAACP have already spoken out about the incident saying, “race played a role in the arrest of the black student” and the officer should be charged.  After all, nothing drives donations (and ratings for CNN) like a race war, even if it’s largely fabricated.   

Should the officer have thrown the girl in the manner that he did?  Perhaps not.  But that’s not the point.  Sometimes “pretty please” doesn’t always work, and the nature of law enforcement interactions means everything can’t be perfectly scripted.  And now a deputy is out of a job because of this girl who thought that the rules didn’t apply to her.

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  1. What a mistake. you fired the guy for doing his job. Will the girl be arrested for striking an officer or refusing to obey lawful commands? All the girl had to do was comply and leave the classroom. She chose to stay. All you have done by firing him is to justify her behavior. Sad. If my son had acted like that I would have shaken the officers hand and told him next time light him up with your taser so he really learns his lesson.

  2. The real reason South Carolina Sheriff Lott fired his Deputy

    Columbia, S.C. Sheriff Leon Lott acted in haste firing Deputy Ben Fields, probably because Sheriff Lott did not want blacks rioting in his city, so he terminated Deputy Fields employment within 48 hours. If Fields was not fired and rioting had taken place, the sheriff would have looked bad. Perhaps his city would have turned into another Ferguson with police on the defense.

    CNN law enforcement analyst Harry Houck cautioned against jumping to conclusions about Deputy Fields, even if the footage “looks really bad.” If an officer decides to make an arrest, he or she “can use whatever force is necessary,” said Houck, a retired New York police detective.

    The deputy should not have been fired but placed on leave with pay until all the facts were collected by the FBI and a determination made as to the deputy’s actions. Even so, the punishment he should have received if found guilty should not have been termination but some lesser punishment inclusive of but not limited to sensitivity training and removal from the school system where he was assigned as a Resource Officer.

    The disruptive girl is also culpable and should be given some type of disciplinary action, a punishment that fits her crime. “Fields did wrong and was fired for his actions,” Sheriff Lott said. “But the student must shoulder responsibility for her disruptive behavior that escalated to the officer being called in,” the sheriff said.

    “When a classroom is disrupted by a student, that disrupts the education process and the students can’t learn and the teachers can’t teach,” Lott said. “We have to have discipline in our schools.”

    The sheriff said one of the three videos shows the girl attacking the officer before the arrest. “When the officer puts his hands on her initially, she reaches up and she pops the officer with her fist,” he said.

    Now I hear the girl is claiming injuries even though Sheriff’s Department spokesman Lt. Curtis Wilson said there were no reports of any injuries and the sheriff said he did not believe the girl was seriously hurt. “To my knowledge, she wasn’t injured whatsoever,” Lott said. “She might have had a rug burn or something like that, but she was not injured.”

    But Todd Rutherford, the girl’s attorney, said his client now has to wear a cast on her arm. The girl also suffered a bruise on her head, her attorney said. No doubt if this is not fully investigated, Attorney Rutherford and the girl’s familiy stand to receive millions of dollars in restitution which unfortunately will be paid for by the taxpayers. Her claims of injury need to be fully investigated by competent medical authorities assigned by a judge. Funny how lawyers run toward these victims, knowing a multi-million dollar law suit when they smell one. Maybe the lawyer should be placed in jail if his claims are found not to be truthful.
    I just have to wonder if the same expedited punishment – firing- would have been administered if the girl was white, since whites do not burn down their towns and loot as do blacks when things go the other way, and the sheriff would have nothing to fear. Or perhaps the sheriff feared losing his job if he did not fire the deputy in this mostly black community. I would like one African American to show me otherwise. Just one. They cant.


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